By Ian Neubauer

An academic at the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) today refuted a report published by The Sunday Telegraph that suggested licensed premises were conning women into binge drinking. 

Headlined ‘Women Tricked into Drinking’, the report cited “shock statistics” from a NDRI study that found millions of Australian women are drinking far more alcohol than they realise as a result of the large wine glasses popular in bars and hotels. “Professor Steve Allsop said heavy alcohol consumption by females was creating a generation of women at great risk of weight gain, cancer, and brain and liver damage,” the newspaper said. 

Interviewed today, Allsop said the research cited was not derived from official NDRI report but from a study one of his students was in the process of conducting. He said the study was based on findings from drinkers aged 65 and above and was not gender specific.

He agreed Australians generally under-estimate drink measures, but said the problem related mostly to those who pour their own drinks.

“The biggest error of judgement is when people are getting drinks topped up or pour drinks for themselves,” Allsop said. “Within the industry there is generally incentive for economic reasons to pour a standard drink. It’s my estimate that it is much more of an issue when people are self-pouring or when a friend is pouring a drink for them.”

The story gained added momentum today after the AHA released a statement welcoming calls to make Australians more aware of how much alcohol they are consuming.

“The industry has worked hard over recent years to increase community awareness of what constitutes a standard drink. This is a key part of our efforts to promote a responsible drinking culture,” AHA director of national affairs, Bill Healey, said in a statement to the press.

Healey told TheShout the statement was not in response to The Sunday Telegraph’s story but rather “an opportunity to spread the message that we are working hard to educate the community as to what is a reasonable amount of alcohol”.  
He said the story suggested women were being “conned into binge drinking”.

Editorial staff at The Sunday Telegraph were unavailable for comment today. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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